Tramadol overdose: How much amount of tramadol to OD?

It’s very difficult to overdose or OD on tramadol. But even at lower doses, tramadol can cause serious health problems. More on how much amount of tramadol is safe for you and tramadol overdose here.

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It depends.

The amount of tramadol that can cause tramadol overdose varies greatly by person and their exposure to opiates or opioids. And how much tramadol is safe also depends on individual opiate tolerance, as well as mode of administration.  for example, snorting tramadol effects are more dangerous than taking tramadol orally.  If you take tramadol regularly, can you prevent an unintentional tramadol overdose? In this article, we’ll explore how much tramadol it takes to OD along with the risk factors for tramadol overdose. At the end, we invite your questions about tramadol and overdose.

Tramadol overdose – How much is too much?

The amount of tramadol which can provoke overdose depends on your previous exposure to opioids. How long does tramadol stay in the system? Tramadol has a half life of about 6 hours, but can be detected for days after use.  But, if your body is already tolerant to tramadol, opiates, or opioids, you can take more tramadol safely. However, safe doses will vary between different strengths and formulas of tramadol. And if tramadol is mixed with other medications, such as acetaminophen, it can be much easier to overdose on the secondary active ingredient. There are some basic guidelines you can follow to safely take tramadol.

At 500 mg, you can begin to experience severe side effects such as seizures. However, tramadol overdose doesn’t actually occur unless you take between 2.65 and 8.2 grams, which is about 5-18 times the recommended maximum daily dosage. You may end up in the hospital if you take 500 mg of tramadol, but you probably won’t die. Further guidelines for tramadol dosing follow:

Opiate naive patients – For example, a doctor will start out an opioid-naпve patient at only 25 mg at a time, and no more than 100 mg in one day. This is to avoid potential side effects rather than to prevent overdose.

Opiate tolerant patients – Once you’ve developed a tolerance for opiates and opioids, you will probably have to have your dosage increased – but you should never start taking more tramadol without medical supervision. As doctors increase doses to accommodate patient tolerance, they consider a number of different variables, including your age, weight, general health, and any other medications you might be taking. The safe dose of tramadol varies greatly from person to person. In individuals with an opiate, opioid or synthetic opiate tolerance, 450 mg is the maximum recommended daily dosage for tramadol.

How does unintentional tramadol overdose happen?

You might accidentally take too much tramadol for a variety of reasons. You may not be getting adequate pain relief from your prescribed dose after using it for an extended period and developing a tolerance to tramadol. If you increase the amount or the frequency at which you take it, it’s easy to unintentionally overdose on tramadol. Getting “high” on tramadol is another way that accidental overdose occurs, particularly since this takes larger amounts of the drug than are normally prescribed. In fact, you’re much more likely to overdose when you chew, crush, snort or inject tramadol pills. Tramadol abuse greatly increases the risk of death and overdose. This medication should only be taken swallowed as a whole pill, and only in the doses recommended by your doctor.

Tramadol overdose complications

The most dangerous complication of tramadol overdose is slow or shallow breathing. Tramadol overdose can even cause your breathing to stop completely. Other medications combined with the tramadol may also cause overdose, or make these effects more pronounced.

Tramadol overdose prognosis

Since it’s pretty difficult to overdose on tramadol, recovery is probable after an OD. If you’ve taken a high dose of tramadol and experience adverse side effects, prognosis and recovery without long term damage is possible if breathing has not been compromised. During these more serious cases of tramadol overdose, doctors may administer oxygen to help you breath better. But to be clear: Tramadol overdose can be deadly. Furthermore, the lack of oxygen reaching your brain due to depressed breathing can cause permanent brain damage. Luckily, it’s hard to accidentally take this much tramadol.

Tramadol overdose death rate

Unintentional deaths by overdose are unfortunately on the rise among all opiate medications; there’s been a nationwide increase in the use of painkillers. The misuse and abuse of tramadol by recreational drug users accounts for a large portion of the increase in drug poisoning and drug deaths. However, prescriptions for higher doses of tramadol also increase the risk of overdose or serious health problems.

Tramadol overdose amount questions

If you have any questions about safe amounts of tramadol in your system, please leave them here. We are happy to try to help answer your questions about tramadol, and will try to respond with a personal and prompt reply for all legitimate queries.


Reference Sources: Toxnet: Tramadol
Medline Plus: Tramadol
FDA MedWatch: Tramadol hydrochloride tablets
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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